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Ask any stay-at-home mom what the single most important thing they need to get through the day is. I would be willing to bet the majority would say a shower. It's not that all adults don’t find a daily shower necessary but for working parents, it can be a luxury that is easily taken for granted.
After having my first son, I went back to work. I have experienced the daily routine of being both a working parent and a stay-at-home mom.
As a stay-at-home mom, my mornings do not typically start as they did when I needed to get ready to go to work. I still wake up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. but I make a departure from my warm bed directly to the kitchen, where I begin to get everything ready for the day.
The day usually starts with making coffee, then lunches. As I bustle around, I begin breakfast and wake my boys. After I have pulled the sheets far off the bed to make them get up, they finally make their way downstairs, rubbing their eyes and dragging their feet.
It’s 6:30 a.m. and we have to move fast if we hope to get to school on time. It’s a scramble to eat, get dressed and pack up backpacks before racing out the door to pile into the car by 7:25 a.m.
The rest of the morning continues at the same rushed pace, whether it is a preschool drop-off, weekly errand, class at the gym, volunteering in a classroom (although these days I wake up earlier to actually shower prior to the rest of the morning ritual) or another social plan or obligation. Sometimes it is several of these things back to back. Those are the days that I am thankful for easy outfits and cute hats.
On most days, I attempt to steal 10 minutes to hop into a hot shower either after the gym or before picking up my boys in the afternoon. This is on most days -- the good ones. But on really hectic days, it isn’t until my husband arrives home from work or my kids are in bed for the night that I retreat to the relaxation and comfort of my shower. When these days happen, I tend to feel more tense and irritable.
I need the warmth of the water refreshing my body and regenerating my energy. In just those 10 or 15 minutes of alone time.